No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~ Abraham Lincoln
If asked, you’d probably say you’re an honest person.
Meaning, you don’t blatantly lie.
But what if I asked if you occasionally omit some things. How would you answer?
It’s part of our creation and design to be honest. We all seem to have an innate sense that honesty is the best policy, that lying hurts others as well as ourselves. At the same time, however, have we reached a point where we feel it’s okay to omit certain details while still feeling as though we’re being honest?
The world in which we live is filled with lies.
And I’ll admit, I have a lying problem. Mine aren’t the big lies, the things like “No, I did not use any performance enhancing supplements, Senator” or, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” No, mine are the little lies. The half-truths. “Yes, let’s definitely get together for coffee soon.” “We can’t buy that toy now, son, the toy store is closed.” I know, lying to my own child — pretty lame!
The problem with lying is that it creates an alternate reality. And trying to keep up with multiple realities is anything but simple and easy.
One of the first things I counsel people who come to see me is to up their honesty level. Not that they’re lying all the time, or even occasionally — but when you up the honesty level in life, things may get worse temporarily, but they will get better.
This begins by upping the honesty level with yourself. Face the hard truths about your life, and your shortcomings. We all have them, own ‘em.
Many bad things in life originate from not being honest with ourselves and others.
Unfortunately, we all have the ability to rationalize and justify our thoughts and actions. In fact, many people can get good enough at it to actually believe their rationalization is the truth. But when it comes to honesty, your gut knows the truth.
Dishonesty keeps you awake at night, or wakes you up in the middle of the night. It gives you the twinge of anxiety in your stomach. And it comes out in your body language and facial expressions.
Honesty, on the other hand, allows you to rest peacefully. To act according to your values and integrity. And to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Plus, honesty leads to simplicity.
Life carries with it a great deal of energy when you’re honest with yourself and others. You gain others’ trust easily because you live according to your word. You reach a point where you can let your yes be yes and your no be no. And, as the honesty between you and others increases, so does the synergy.
Honesty in life and marriage is not just the best policy; it’s the only policy. And a simple marriage is unattainable without it.
So, husbands, what do you do when your wife asks you this question: Do these pants make me look fat?
If you’re wondering if you should be honest when your wife asks, try this — look her in the eye, and with a playful smile reply, “I don’t know, I’d have to see you without the pants on.”
Editor’s Note: This is a chapter from Buck Naked Marriage.